Rad54 is required for the normal development of male and female germ cells and contributes to the maintainance of their genome integrity after genotoxic stress.
ABSTRACT: Rad54 is an important factor in the homologous recombination pathway of DNA double-strand break repair. However, Rad54 knockout (KO) mice do not exhibit overt phenotypes at adulthood, even when exposed to radiation. In this study, we show that in Rad54 KO mouse the germline is actually altered. Compared with the wild-type (WT) animals, these mice have less premeiotic germ cells. This germ cell loss is found as early as in E11.5 embryos, suggesting an early failure during mutant primordial germ cells development. Both testicular and ovarian KO germ cells exhibited high radiation sensitivity leading to a long-term gametogenesis defect at adulthood. The KO female germline was particularly affected displaying decreased litter size or sterility. Spermatogenesis recovery after irradiation was slower and incomplete in Rad54 KO mice compared with that of WT mice, suggesting that loss of germ stem cell precursors is not fully compensated along the successive rounds of spermatogenesis. Finally, spermatogenesis recovery after postnatal irradiation is in part regulated by glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in KO but not in irradiated WT mice, suggesting that Sertoli cell GDNF production is stimulated upon substantial germ cell loss only. Our findings suggest that Rad54 has a key function in maintaining genomic integrity of the developing germ cells.
Project description:Spermatogonia stem cell (SSC) self-renewal and differentiation are tightly regulated processes that ensure a continued production of mature sperm throughout male adulthood. In the present study, we investigated the role of glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) in maintenance of the male germline and spermatogenesis. GILZ was detectable in germ cells of wild type mice on the day of birth, suggesting a role for GILZ in prospermatogonia and SSC pool formation. Gilz KO mice were generated and adult males were azoospermic and sterile. During the first wave of spermatogenesis in Gilz KO mice, spermatogenesis arrested part way through pachytene of meiosis I. Subsequent waves resulted in a progressive depletion of germ cells through apoptosis to ultimately produce a Sertoli cell-only phenotype. Further, in contrast to wild type littermates, PLZF(+) cells were detected in the peri-luminal region of Gilz KO mice at day 6 post-natal, suggesting a defect in prospermatogonia migration in the absence of GILZ. At age 30 days, transient accumulation of PLZF(+) cells in a subset of tubules and severely compromised spermatogenesis were observed in Gilz KO mice, consistent with defective SSC differentiation. GILZ deficiency was associated with an increase in FOXO1 transcriptional activity, which leads to activation of a selective set of FOXO1 target genes, including a pro-apoptotic protein, BIM. On the other hand, no evidence of a heightened immune response was observed. Together, these results suggest that GILZ suppresses FOXO1 nuclear translocation, promotes SSC differentiation over self-renewal, and favours germ cell survival through inhibition of BIM-dependent pro-apoptotic signals. These findings provide a mechanism for the effects of GILZ on spermatogenesis and strengthen the case for GILZ being a critical molecule in the regulation of male fertility.
Project description:PTBP1, a well-conserved RNA-binding protein, regulates cellular development by tuning posttranscriptional mRNA modification such as alternative splicing (AS) or mRNA stabilization. We previously revealed that the loss of Ptbp1 in spermatogonia causes the dysregulation of spermatogenesis, but the molecular mechanisms by which PTBP1 regulates spermatogonium homeostasis are unclear. In this study, changes of AS or transcriptome in Ptbp1-knockout (KO) germline stem cells (GSC), an in vitro model of proliferating spermatogonia, was determined by next generation sequencing. We identified more than 200 differentially expressed genes, as well as 85 genes with altered AS due to the loss of PTBP1. Surprisingly, no differentially expressed genes overlapped with different AS genes in Ptbp1-KO GSC. In addition, we observed that the mRNA expression of Nanos3, an essential gene for normal spermatogenesis, was significantly decreased in Ptbp1-KO spermatogonia. We also revealed that PTBP1 protein binds to Nanos3 mRNA in spermatogonia. Furthermore, Nanos3+/-;Ptbp1+/- mice exhibited abnormal spermatogenesis, which resembled the effects of germ cell-specific Ptbp1 KO, whereas no significant abnormality was observed in mice heterozygous for either gene alone. These data implied that PTBP1 regulates alternative splicing and transcriptome in spermatogonia under different molecular pathways, and contributes spermatogenesis, at least in part, in concert with NANOS3.
Project description:NOD-like receptors (NLRs) are traditionally recognized as major inflammasome components. The role of NLRs in germ cell differentiation and reproduction is not known. Here, we identified the gonad-specific Nlrp14 as a pivotal regulator in primordial germ cell-like cell (PGCLC) differentiation in vitro. Physiologically, knock out of Nlrp14 resulted in reproductive failure in both female and male mice. In adult male mice, Nlrp14 knockout (KO) inhibited differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and meiosis, resulting in trapped SSCs in early stages, severe oligozoospermia, and sperm abnormality. Mechanistically, NLRP14 promoted spermatogenesis by recruiting a chaperone cofactor, BAG2, to bind with HSPA2 and form the NLRP14-HSPA2-BAG2 complex, which strongly inhibited ChIP-mediated HSPA2 polyubiquitination and promoted its nuclear translocation. Finally, loss of HSPA2 protection and BAG2 recruitment by NLRP14 was confirmed in a human nonsense germline variant associated with male sterility. Together, our data highlight a unique proteasome-mediated, noncanonical function of NLRP14 in PGCLC differentiation and spermatogenesis, providing mechanistic insights of gonad-specific NLRs in mammalian germline development.
Project description:Gonadotropin Regulated Testicular RNA Helicase (GRTH/Ddx25) is a testis-specific multifunctional RNA helicase and an essential post-transcriptional regulator of spermatogenesis. GRTH transports relevant mRNAs from nucleus to cytoplasmic sites of meiotic and haploid germ cells and associates with actively translating polyribosomes. It is also a negative regulator of steroidogenesis in Leydig cells. To obtain a genome-wide perspective of GRTH regulated genes, in particularly those associated with polyribosomes, microarray differential gene expression analysis was performed using polysome-bound RNA isolated from testes of wild type (WT) and GRTH KO mice. 792 genes among the entire mouse genome were found to be polysomal GRTH-linked in WT. Among these 186 were down-regulated and 7 up-regulated genes in GRTH null mice. A similar analysis was performed using total RNA extracted from purified germ cell populations to address GRTH action in individual target cells. The down-regulation of known genes concerned with spermatogenesis at polysomal sites in GRTH KO and their association with GRTH in WT coupled with early findings of minor or unchanged total mRNAs and abolition of their protein expression in KO underscore the relevance of GRTH in translation. Ingenuity pathway analysis predicted association of GRTH bound polysome genes with the ubiquitin-proteasome-heat shock protein signaling network pathway and NF?B/TP53/TGFB1 signaling networks were derived from the differentially expressed gene analysis. This study has revealed known and unexplored factors in the genome and regulatory pathways underlying GRTH action in male reproduction.
Project description:Mice that are ets variant gene 5 (ETV5) null (Etv5(-/-)) undergo the first wave of spermatogenesis but lose all spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) during this time. The SSC loss in Etv5(-/-) mice begins during the neonatal period, suggesting a role for ETV5 in SSC self-renewal during this period. Herein, we show that Etv5 mRNA was present in perinatal mouse testis and that ETV5 was expressed in fetal Sertoli cells and by germ cells and Sertoli cells during the neonatal period. Transplantation of Etv5(-/-) germ cells failed to establish spermatogenesis in W/W(v) mice testes, indicating that germ cell ETV5 has a key role in establishment or self-renewal of transplanted SSCs. The SSC self-renewal is stimulated by glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) acting through the RET/GDNF family receptor alpha 1 (GFRA1) receptor complex in SSCs. Immunohistochemistry, quantitative PCR, and laser capture microdissection revealed decreased RET mRNA and protein expression in spermatogonia of neonatal Etv5(-/-) mice by Postnatal Days 4-8, indicating that disrupted GDNF/RET/GFRA1 signaling may occur before initial spermatogonial stem/progenitor cell decrease. Etv5(-/-) spermatogonia had reduced proliferation in vivo and in vitro. Decreased cell proliferation may cause the observed decreases in the number of type A spermatogonia (Postnatal Day 17) and daily sperm production (Postnatal Day 30) in Etv5(-/-) mice, indicating quantitative impairments in the first wave of spermatogenesis. In conclusion, ETV5 is expressed beginning in fetal Sertoli cells and can potentially have effects on neonatal Sertoli cells and germ cells. In addition, ETV5 has critical effects on neonatal spermatogonial proliferation, which may involve impaired signaling through the RET receptor.
Project description:Serine/threonine kinase 35 (STK35) is a recently identified human kinase with an autophosphorylation function, linked functionally to actin stress fibers, cell cycle progression and survival. STK35 has previously been shown to be highly expressed in human testis, and we demonstrated its regulation by nuclear-localized importin ?2 in HeLa cells. The present study identifies progressive expression from the STK35 locus of two coding mRNA isoforms and one long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) in mouse testis during spermatogenesis, indicating their tightly controlled synthesis. Additionally, lncRNA transcripts are increased by exposure to oxidative stress in mouse GC-1 germ cell line. STK35 knockout (KO) mice lacking all three RNAs are born at sub-Mendelian frequency, and adults manifest both male and female germline deficiency. KO males exhibit no or partial spermatogenesis in most testis tubule cross-sections; KO ovaries are smaller and contain fewer follicles. Eyes of KO mice display phenotypes ranging from gross deformity to mild goniodysgenesis or iridocorneal angle malformation, to overtly normal. These findings demonstrate the tight regulation of transcription from the STK35 locus and its central importance to fertility, eye development and cell responses to oxidative stress.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The first pathology observed in Parkinson's disease (PD) is 'dying back' of striatal dopaminergic (DA) terminals. Connexin (Cx)30, an astrocytic gap junction protein, is upregulated in the striatum in PD, but its roles in neurodegeneration remain elusive. We investigated Cx30 function in an acute PD model by administering 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) to wild-type (WT) and Cx30 knockout (KO) mice. METHODS:On days 1 and 7 after MPTP administration, we evaluated changes in astrocytic Cx30, Cx43, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and ionised calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 expression by immunostaining and biochemical analysis. Loss of DA neurons was evaluated by tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining. Gene expression was analysed using A1, A2, pan-reactive astrocyte microarray gene sets, and M1, M2, and M1/M2 mixed microglial microarray gene sets. Real-time PCR and in situ hybridisation were performed to evaluate glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (Gdnf) and S100a10 expression. Striatal GDNF protein levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS:MPTP treatment induced upregulation of Cx30 and Cx43 levels in the striatum of WT and KO mice. DA neuron loss was accelerated in Cx30 KO compared with WT mice after MPTP administration, despite no change in the striatal concentration of methyl-4-phenylpyridinium+. Astrogliosis in the striatum of Cx30 KO mice was attenuated by MPTP, whereas microglial activation was unaffected. Microarrays of the striatum showed reduced expression of pan-reactive and A2 astrocyte genes after MPTP treatment in Cx30 KO compared with WT mice, while M1, M2, and M1/M2 mixed microglial gene expression did not change. MPTP reduced the number of striatal astrocytes co-expressing Gdnf mRNA and S100? protein or S100a10 mRNA and S100? protein and also reduced the level of GDNF in the striatum of Cx30 KO compared with WT mice. CONCLUSIONS:These findings indicate that Cx30 plays critical roles in astrocyte neuroprotection in an MPTP PD model.
Project description:About 10% of male infertile patients show abnormalities in spermatogenesis. The microdeletion of azoospermia factor a (AZFa) region of the Y chromosome is thought to be a cause of spermatogenic failure. However, candidate gene responsible for the spermatogenic failure in AZFa deleted patients has not been elucidated yet. Using mice, we explored the function of Ddx3y, a strong candidate gene in the Azfa region, and Ddx3x, a Ddx3y paralog on the X chromosome, in spermatogenesis. We first generated Ddx3y KO male mice using CRISPR/Cas9 and found that the Ddx3y KO male mice show normal spermatogenesis, produce morphologically normal spermatozoa, and sire healthy offspring. Because Ddx3x KO males were embryonic lethal, we next generated chimeric mice, which contain Ddx3x and Ddx3y double KO (dKO) germ cells, and found that the dKO germ cells can differentiate into spermatozoa and transmit their mutant alleles to offspring by normal mating. We conclude that Ddx3x and Ddx3y are dispensable for spermatogenesis at least in mice. Unlike human, mice have an additional Ddx3y paralog D1pas1, that has been reported to be essential for spermatogenesis. These findings suggest that human and mouse DDX3 related proteins have distinct differences in their functions.
Project description:In mammals, the biological activity of the stem/progenitor compartment sustains production of mature gametes through spermatogenesis. Spermatogonial stem cells and their progeny belong to the class of undifferentiated spermatogonia, a germ cell population found on the basal membrane of the seminiferous tubules. A large body of evidence has demonstrated that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a Sertoli-derived factor, is essential for in vivo and in vitro stem cell self-renewal. However, the mechanisms underlying this activity are not completely understood. In this study, we show that GDNF induces dose-dependent directional migration of freshly selected undifferentiated spermatogonia, as well as germline stem cells in culture, using a Boyden chamber assay. GDNF-induced migration is dependent on the expression of the GDNF co-receptor GFRA1, as shown by migration assays performed on parental and GFRA1-transduced GC-1 spermatogonial cell lines. We found that the actin regulatory protein vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) is specifically expressed in undifferentiated spermatogonia. VASP belongs to the ENA/VASP family of proteins implicated in actin-dependent processes, such as fibroblast migration, axon guidance, and cell adhesion. In intact seminiferous tubules and germline stem cell cultures, GDNF treatment up-regulates VASP in a dose-dependent fashion. These data identify a novel role for the niche-derived factor GDNF, and they suggest that GDNF may impinge on the stem/progenitor compartment, affecting the actin cytoskeleton and cell migration.
Project description:Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) provide foundation for spermatogenesis by undergoing continuous self-renewal division. Previous studies have reported conflicting results on the role of the pituitary gland activity in SSC self-renewal. In this study, we analyzed the role of hormonal regulation of SSCs using Lhcgr (luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor) knockout mice. Analysis of gene expression profiles showed that testes of Lhcgr-deficient mice exhibit significantly enhanced Wnt5a expression in Sertoli cells. Lhcgr KO and control WT mice were treated with busulfan in order to eliminate germ cells. The total RNA samples from their testes were subjected to microarray analysis to compare their gene expression profiles.